du Plooy and Reece hit half-centuries, but Falcons fall short

Wednesday 1st June 2022
Photography by: David Griffin, written by ECB Reporters Network

Leus du Plooy’s unbeaten half-century, and 55 from Luis Reece, wasn’t enough, as the Falcons were defeated by Lancashire Lightning.

Liam Livingstone (75) clattered five sixes in 40 balls from number three after Lightning skipper Dane Vilas, with whom he shared 91 for the third wicket, elected to bat before Derbyshire responded with 202 for five.

Vilas added 34 off 22 as part of an entertaining support cast including Keaton Jennings (34) and Steven Croft (28), who both reached personal milestones.

Derbyshire’s task was always going to be mountainous in reply, despite two wins in three previous North Group games, and so it proved – even with opener Luis Reece’s 55 off 36 and Leus du Plooy’s unbeaten 59 off 31 at either end of the innings.

Livingstone contributed further to unbeaten Lancashire’s third win in four games with one for 28 from four overs of varied spin.

At the start of a double header day with the Thunder women, Lancashire raced away thanks to five fours and a big pulled six in 21 balls for opener Jennings, who recorded his 1,000th T20 run for Lancashire.

He is their third quickest player to reach that milestone – in 33 innings, one slower than Jos Buttler and Mal Loye.

Croft later became the first player to score 4,000 T20 runs for Lancashire.

After Jennings sliced Sam Conners to third, where fellow seamer George Scrimshaw took a fine running catch, and Phil Salt miscued Scrimshaw to mid-on – 75 for two in the eighth over, Livingstone and Vilas put Derbyshire under pressure.

Each of the next five completed overs, the ninth to the 13th, went for double-figure totals as the score moved to 147 for two.

Livingstone pulled two of his sixes and hit the other three either over long-on or straight.

At that stage, record books were being thumbed. The Lightning’s highest Blast total of 231 for five against Yorkshire here in 2015 was in jeopardy.

But Derbyshire, led by leg-spinner Mattie McKiernan and Scrimshaw, dragged things back impressively.

McKiernan was one of four former Lancashire players in Derbyshire’s team alongside Reece, Mark Watt and wicketkeeper Brooke Guest, and he and Guest combined to get Vilas stumped as the score fell to 166 for three in the 16th, ending the eight-over third-wicket stand with Livingstone.

McKiernan had conceded 22 in his first two overs and ended with one for 34 from four overs, while Scrimshaw (three for 45) struck twice in the last to get Croft bowled and Tim David caught at deep midwicket.

Livingstone’s impressive afternoon was far from over.

He was the bowler when Falcons captain Shan Masood was run out trying to pinch one to cover to Croft – 25 for one in the third over of the reply – and then had Harry Came stumped in the eighth, leaving the score at 68 for two.

However, left-handed Reece was not deterred. He ramped seamer Richard Gleeson for his first of two sixes on the way to 50 off 31 balls and later hoisted Matt Parkinson’s leg-spin over long-on.

But when he slapped Tom Hartley’s left-arm spin to long-off – 90 for three in the 11th – it felt like a decisive moment.

And so it proved. Wayne Madsen holed out to Hartley shortly afterwards, and by the time the 15-over mark arrived the Falcons were 134 for four and still 86 from victory.

South African left-hander du Plooy united with Guest (35) to share 78, and while both played innings as destructive as Livingstone’s, they had been left with too much to do.

They took the target to 36 off two overs with five sixes between them, though Gleeson bowled an excellent penultimate and conceded only six to leave Luke Wood defending 30 off the last.

Vitality Blast 2022 – Tickets on sale now!

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After a dramatic episode in 2021, the East Midlands Derby against Notts Outlaws returns on Friday 3 June, while the Falcons will be aiming to extend their Vitality Blast winning streak at Queen’s Park to four matches, when they take on Yorkshire Vikings to close out the BRM Solicitors Festival of Cricket, in association with Chesterfield Borough Council, on Saturday 18 June.

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